a few things I've been thinking about...
first off, deion's agent files a grievence and calls in the players union and the league office to intervene - and, get this, today is the new commissioner's first day on the job! baaa waaa waaaa haaaa!!
how was your first day honey? heh heh heh
next, what message do you think the pats are sending to deion by this latest development? you know, allowing him to pursue a deal and then making it a moot point by asking for more than anybody would ever give? seriously, think about it for a second... (you thinking?).... (I got all night)....
it seems to me, if you step back and review, they basically allowed deion to see that he wasn't gonna get substantially more from another club, unless I'm hearing this wrong, the contract offers where not substantially different from the pats. but they also are showing him, hey, we're not worried about whether or not you can get this current year's contract wiped out by another club in their offer, because you don't have the power to go to another club this year. They are basically showing him that they hold the power of his services and he has to be really feeling that right now.
next, I think it is critical to the pats what message they are also sending to their entire team. They are showing all other potential holdouts in the future that they will not be pushed around by any individual's displeasure with signed contracts. if they didn't stand firn here, there would be a line of people in the future doing this. they are showing deion yes, but also all their other players.
next, I think deion was made to feel bad when david patten, then david givens left and got more money. he knows he's as good or better than them and he feels a fool to be playing for less. but he doesn't get it that they got more money because they were free to enter the open market. That's not some small point in an internet discussion - that is the critical point. if deion was a free agent, all of this would've never happened. he's not, so he simply cannot force anything. he needed to play well this year and then either enter the free agent market next year, or if franchised, he would've been paid top dollar anyway. you can't just pretend like that doesn't matter.
I think to a large extent, the significance of league rules and legal contracts is what deion is testing, and if he thinks he's immune to these things, well just ask yourself, if he is, then isn't everyone else as well?
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